England

M45 shut for hours by freezing rain

The M45 motorway was shut for several hours by the Highways Agency for safety reasons after freezing rain fell.

Officials said the decision to shut the motorway, in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire, was taken after two minor collisions early on Sunday.

The M45 was shut at about 0500 GMT to allow salt spreading to take place and it reopened westbound at about 0950 GMT and eastbound at 1030 GMT.

The agency said the motorway had been treated overnight.

But it added a band of freezing rain made driving conditions "quite difficult".

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "What happens with freezing rain is given the temperature of the road and the fact that... the temperature of the rain itself is very low, it freezes on impact."

The M45 runs from near Thurlaston in Warwickshire to junction 17 of the M1 in Northamptonshire.

The agency said the decision to close the motorway was taken following patrols by traffic officers and after talking to police.

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